What relationship in my life do I need to unconditionally reconcile?
This weekend we find ourselves halfway through the Season of Lent. We began the Season on Ash Wednesday by being marked with ashes. The ashes are, in part, a reminder of our mortality: we are dust, and unto dust we shall return. They bring us face to face with our death. During this season we reflect on whether we are living the kind of life we want to live, and whether we are ready to pass from this life. We then take the necessary steps to make whatever changes are needed. Perhaps for many of us, a major need is to restore a broken relationship.
Today’s Gospel is often referred to as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.” Many claim that it should be known as the “Parable of the Prodigal Father,” given the lavish way the father forgives his son, unconditionally with absolutely no strings attached. He wants nothing in return from his son, not even gratitude or the acknowledgment of his wrongdoing. In spite of the horrible way in which the son treated him, the father does not want to die alienated from someone he truly loved.
This leads me to ask myself: Who is the one person in my life I need to forgive unconditionally, no matter how badly they have treated me? During this Season of Lent, I humbly acknowledge my human frailty and the certainty of leaving loved ones behind at the time of my death. For my own peace of mind and ultimate happiness, and for their sake, who is the one person more than any other I need to forgive unconditionally this Lent, before it may be too late?